How to Make Fancy Wood Boxes

Written by louise harding
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How to Make Fancy Wood Boxes
For a fancy wood box, découpage paper images to an unfinished wood box. (cut-out marine elements image by araraadt from

You can make a fancy wood box by using a centuries-old technique known as découpage. According to the National Guild of Decoupeurs, the word "decoupage" originated from the French word "decouper," which means the act of cutting out. In découpage, paper images are cut and then positioned and adhered to a surface. Découpage is a very forgiving craft that allows the crafter to create spontaneous or preplanned designs. By using an unfinished wood box and a découpage glue, you can create fancy wood boxes.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Newspaper
  • Unfinished hinged wood box
  • Gold spray paint
  • Precut paper images
  • Découpage medium
  • Sponge craft brush
  • Clear spray paint, matt or gloss

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  1. 1

    Spread newspaper over a flat surface in a garage or other well-ventilated work area, and place your unfinished wood box upside down onto the newspaper.

  2. 2

    Hold the nozzle of the gold spray paint at least 12 inches from the wood box, and spray paint the box in a back-and-forth movement until the wood is saturated with gold paint. Allow paint to dry for about 24 hours.

  3. 3

    Turn the box right side up. With the lid open, spray paint the interior of the wood box using even, back-and-forth strokes until the wood is completely covered with gold paint. Allow paint to dry for about 24 hours.

  4. 4

    Cover your work surface with newspaper, and place your wood box on top. Use a sponge craft brush to completely cover the lid of the gold box with a découpage glue, known as a découpage medium. Découpage medium can be purchased at craft stores. White school glue will also work.

  5. 5

    Position your paper images on the surface of the box lid. Images can be cut from magazines, photos, stationary, paper doilies, greeting cards, calendars, second-hand books or any other source that lends itself to having quality images cut from paper. Victorian scrap images reproduced from valentines and calling cards can be purchased online and at craft stores. Press the images onto the glue, overlapping the edges as you go. Spread a thin layer of the medium over the images.

  6. 6

    Spread découpage medium over the exterior sides of the box. Press images onto the découpage glue, overlapping edges until the box sides are covered with images. Spread a thin layer of the medium over the images. Allow the pictures and adhesive on the wood box to dry for about 24 hours.

  7. 7

    Place the fancy découpage box upside down on top of the newspaper in your garage or other outdoor work area. Hold the nozzle of the clear spray paint at least 12 inches from the fancy box, and spray the entire exterior of the box. Allow to dry for about 24 hours.

  8. 8

    Turn the box right side up, and repeat the spray paint process, covering the interior of the box with a clear coat. Allow box to dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Use glitter, lace, buttons or other thin materials to embellish your fancy wood box. Press items into the découpage medium, and spread a thin layer of medium over them. Finish the interior with felt cut to fit and glued with white school glue.

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